Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!
¡Feliz Navidad!

Here are some photos from assorted Christmas gatherings and traditions.

Lots of fireworks coming from all directions at midnight on Christmas Eve add greatly to the excitement! (this is the street in front of my apartment) Note the one just taking off out of the plastic jug...The fireworks start at about midnight, and run for about half an hour. This is not a controlled fireworks show, but every family in the city setting off their own fireworks in the streets, on the roof, everywhere!

Christmas tree in Sololá.

Melany and Irvin with an Irvin-sized tree.

My landlady and her family, waiting for midnight.

Commercialism and capitalism at it's best; a Christmas picture
with my friends Astrid, Lourdes, Irvin...and millions of teddy bears.

And, the fireworks on New Year's to top it off, video taken from the roof of my friend Shannon's apartment. (On Christmas it's just as exciting)

Everyone in the city setting off fireworks, coming from all directions!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


This is November 1st in Santiago Sacatepéquez. It's the day of the dead, or all saints day. They make these kites, fly them, present them and the town cemetery fills with people, flying kites, building kites, eating, watching, taking pictures, sitting on the tombs, etc. It's an amazing event.

These kites are possibly my favorite thing about Guatemala. These are the giant ones...not fly-able, but just look at how beautiful they are!! And how long it must have taken each team of young adults to make them...out of tissue paper, packing tape and bamboo.

And here's a video: fun stuff!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Grace and Mercy

I just had a wonderful lunch with two young women who are from Central America. One is Nicaraguan and has studied law, and the other is from El Salvador and is a doctor. They came over to my apartment and we made rice, beans, plantains, and a salad of cabbage, cucumber and tomato with key lime juice and salt. The food, and the Spanish we spoke, were Central American. It was lovely to hear them say "Fíjate que..." and "vos." We danced in my studio apartment to Nicaraguan marimba music and I sent them home with lots of leftovers. We talked about living in a foreign country, and we praised and criticized the United States and Nicaragua. They thought Chacocente was a great project for its attempt to help people become independent, instead of giving them charity. It was a wonderful conversation about religion, architecture, race, poverty, culture, homeplace, Spanish grammar, stress, and family. I am so grateful. Sometimes I feel so alienated from my experience in Central America, and from the person I was while I lived there. Talking with them helped me feel more reconciliation between my two selves. When they left, I felt I was the precious participant in grace and mercy, which seem so often to arrive unexpectedly. Aleluia.